Artisan bakery threatened with ruin by coffee gian...

Artisan bakery threatened with ruin by coffee giant

A London artisan bakery is facing financial ruin after being ordered by a $2.6b coffee chain to change its name.

Bread a Manger owners Fouad Saber and Bertrand Kerleo were shocked to receive a letter from coffee giant Pret a Manger with the demand they stop using their business’s name, logo, promotional material and hand over their website within nine days, and say they do not have the approximately $18,000 it would cost to make the change.

Saber and Kerleo created the business during the COVID-19 lockdown after their previous companies were ruined by the pandemic, and claim they never even thought of Pret when they came up with their business name.

Pret A Manger, which has more than 450 outlets across the UK, engaged a top international patent and trademark law firm in the matter, and has now said Bread a Manger can have longer to make the changes.

Mr Saber told The Daily Mail he thought the letter was a joke at first.

“But then I checked the name of the law company and realised it was serious,” he said.

“It has been very stressful. We don’t really know what to do. We are a small business trying to survive. We opened at the start of lockdown because we loved what we do.

“We are just trying to stay positive because we did not do anything wrong.”

In a statement, Pret a Manger said it has “a duty of care to ensure the brand is not diluted.”

“Thousands of Pret Team Members across London have worked hard to earn the trust of customers in the city over the past four decades, and although we appreciate it when other businesses take inspiration from what we do, this name is just too close, especially when many of the products are similar too,” it said.

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